29: The Roots of a Church Planter: Dan Hegelund’s Encouraging Story

The Audio

Show Notes

Dan Hegelund was born to the radical Jesus-Movement leader, Linda Meissner. Linda had been used as a powerful evangelist, seeing tens of thousands of people come to Christ. At one point, Linda was preaching the Gospel on the streets of Scandanavia and felt led to move into an abandoned military base where a community of hippies had created living space.

As Linda lived among these hippies, she saw people begin to come to Christ. One was a man who, after a walking with the Lord for a while, decided he wanted to pursue Linda.

The two were married and shortly after welcomed Dan into the world. Unfortunately, not long after, Dan’s father backslid into a lifestyle of alcohol and drug abuse. Nevertheless, though LInda’s heart was broken, she committed to being a godly mother to Dan and continued to preach the Gospel.

Unfortunately for Dan, the community became a hostile place for a child. Police raids and the lack of the rule of moral law left Dan feeling despairing of life as a small child.

Yet, this is exactly when God showed up in Dan’s life. Dan began to intimately encounter God at a young age and by the age of 13 had what he would call “the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.” This experience was not a rare thing in the Pentecostal background of his mother, but it did produce uncommon results.

As a 13-year-old, Dan was regularly evangelizing non-believers and bringing them to a weekly Bible study that he led. The young man was on fire for God.

Later, he finally found a church that was different than the stale, dead churches he’d previously encountered in Scandinavia. He felt led to get involved in it and for a time this seemed to quench the fiery ministry he’d been leading. The trade off was that he was able to grow in discipleship and maturity as a follower of Christ.

God blessed this season, bring Dan a wife and giving him many ministry opportunities. For ministry, Dan started and led Gospel choirs and eventually became the worship director of a Central-European church that was experiencing massive revival.

One day, Dan felt he received a prophetic word for his mother, Linda. It had been 40 years since her heyday as an evangelist and he felt the Lord say to her that, like Moses being in the wilderness for 40 years in a foreign land and then being called back to do Kingdom work in his twilight years, God was telling Linda he had work for her to do back in the U.S. where she had been a central part of the Jesus Movement in the 70’s.

Dan, Linda and Dan’s family all moved back to the United States and, after settling in, God shared with Dan that it was time for him to resurrect that vision he had as a fiery teenage-church-planter and plant churches himself.

Today, Dan has planted a church in Tacoma, WA where his mother serves as the Lead Evangelist. Listen to this week’s episode (above) to hear all the details of what God has done in Dan’s life!

  • Even though Gospel choirs originated in Black American culture, they've become very popular in Scandinavia. Dan started and directed large one that were televised on T.V.
  • The church that Dan was on staff at not only experienced a truly massive revival, from the church, countless churches have been planted.
  • Dan recounts how he experienced "power" after he was baptized in the Holy Spirit, which is similar to how the early Pentecostals described their experience. They testified that their ability in ministry and discipleship was greatly strengthened.